- Some US cinemas may slash the prices of tickets for Warner Bros. films, and ask to keep more of the revenue, insiders told The Hollywood Reporter.
- This comes after Warner announced it would release all its 2021 movies on the HBO Max streaming platform the same day they’re released in theatres, sparking backlash from Hollywood and cinema chains.
- Some of the US’s largest chains, including AMC and Cinemark, have already suggested that they may not show all Warner titles.
- AMC has warned it could run out of money by the end of January – partly because of Warner’s decision.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
US cinema chains may reportedly drop the prices of tickets for Warner Bros. films, after the studio said its 2021 releases would be available on HBO Max the same day they hit theatres.
Some movie theatres are considering slashing film tickets to as low as between $US3 and $US5 for Warner titles, insiders told The Hollywood Reporter â€” and the cinemas want to keep a hefty chunk of the ticket sales, too, at around 75% to 80% of revenue, the sources said. This is higher than normal.
Warner Bros. will release all its 2021 movies on the HBO Max streaming platform the same day they’re released in theatres, it announced in early December. The movies will be available on HBO Max for one month, and will continue to play in theatres after that.
Some of the US’s largest movie theatre chains, including AMC and Cinemark, have already said that they will review Warner titles on a case-by-case basis to decide whether to screen them.
While Warner’s plan is, for now, only for 2021, it could have major and permanent ramifications for both Hollywood and movie theatres, who usually get to show a movie for 75 days before it can debut on streaming services.
Even before Warner made its announcement, movie theatres had been devastated by the pandemic.
Cinemas have been hit by both the lack of new releases because of coronavirus-related production delays, and waves of temporary closures and capacity limits.
The HBO Max deal is part of the reason why AMC could run out of money by the end of January, the cinema chain wrote in an SEC filing earlier this month.
Recent spikes in COVID-19 cases, alongside delays to major releases or decisions to launch straight to streaming, “have had, and are expected to continue to have in the future, a material adverse impact on theatre attendance levels and our business,”AMC wrote in the filing.
This has been exacerbated by Warner’s announcement, it said, though AMC noted it doesn’t know the full impact this will have yet. Other studios may adopt a similar strategy to Warner, it added.
“Wonder Woman 1984” director Patty Jenkins warned that “we could lose movie theatre-going forever” because of the advent of straight-to-streaming.
Warner itself could be financially hit, too. The studio could lose around $US1.2 billion through lost revenue in 2021 because of fewer people seeing its movies in theatres, Moffett Nathanson analysts estimated earlier this month.
Business Insider has contacted AMC, Cinemark, and Warner Bros. for comment.